The dream and nightmare World Cup draws for England tomorrow

The draw for next summer's World Cup in Russia is set to go ahead tomorrow at Moscow's Kremlin Palace, where England manager Gareth Southgate will discover who his young side will have to overcome if the Three Lions are to improve upon their group stage exit in 2014.

All 32 teams have been seeded into four pots of eight, with one team from each pot being drawn into eight World Cup groups of four.

Unfortunately for England, teams have been seeded based on Fifa's world rankings and England are currently just outside the world's top 10.

That means they'll be in Pot 2 and could be drawn against heavyweights like Argentina, Brazil, France or Germany in the opening fixtures.

Read more: World Cup 2018 prize money – Fifa increases financial offering to $400m

Spain are at least out of the question for England at this stage. Despite the 2010 world champions being the No8 ranked side in the world, hosts Russia are automatically included amongst the eight top seeds meaning Spain are with Southgate's men in Pot 2, along with Croatia and Uruguay.

No teams from the same confederation can be drawn in the same group, with the exception of Europe's Uefa from which up to two teams could be drawn against each other.

Pot 1 Pot 2 Pot 3 Pot 4
Russia Spain Denmark Serbia
Germany Peru Iceland Nigeria
Brazil Switzerland Costa Rica Australia
Portugal England Sweden Japan
Argentina Colombia Tunisia Morocco
Belgium Mexico Egypt Panama
Poland Uruguay Senegal South Korea
France Croatia Iran Saudi Arabia

Nightmare draw?

Brazil, England, Denmark, Nigeria.

Pot 1 is full of fearsome looking opponents, including world champions Germany. Yet drawing Jogi Low's side would at least reduce England's chances of meeting tough-looking European opponents Denmark, Sweden, Iceland and Serbia from the other pots as a maximum of two sides from Uefa can feature in the same group.

Drawing a rejuvenated Brazil also leaves open the possibility of facing a Christian Eriksen-led Denmark, while in Pot 4 Nigeria's attacking talents of Alex Iwobi, Kelechi Iheanacho and Victor Moses pose a threat.

Dream draw?

Poland, England, Iran, Panama.

Russia are the worst-ranked side at the entire tournament at No65, but facing the fired-up hosts is never straight forward. England would fancy their chances against Poland or Portugal, who are still largely reliant on Cristiano Ronaldo.

Iran are the worst-ranked side in Pot 3 while World Cup newcomers Panama would be a welcome draw from Pot 4.

When is the draw?

The draw starts at 6pm in Russia, or 3pm GMT. Just be prepared for the customary Fifa-glorifying corporate waffle that tends to drag these events out.

Is the World Cup draw on TV?

Yes. Mark Chapman and Jonathan Pearce present on BBC Two from 3pm – Gary Lineker is on live-hosting duties for Fifa – and Sky Sports News will also be showing the draw.

Wait, when actually is the World Cup?

Whatever happens, don't get too excited tomorrow. We're still over six months from the tournament's start. The first match, which we know will feature Russia, takes place on 14 June. The final is a month late on 15 July.

Original Article

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